Padmini Ramachandran (12 June 1932 – 24 September 2006)[1][2][3] was an Indian actress and trained Bharatanatyam dancer, who acted in over 250 Indian films.[1] She acted in Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu and Russian language films. Padmini, with her elder sister Lalitha and her younger sister Ragini, were called the "Travancore sisters".[4]

Padmini Ramachandran
Padmini in 1950
Born(1932-06-12)12 June 1932[1]
Died24 September 2006(2006-09-24) (aged 74)
Other namesNatiya Peroli, Pappima, Thiruvancore Sisters
Years active1947-1994, 2002
(m. 1961; died 1981)
ChildrenPremanand (b.1963)
ParentThangappan Pillai Saraswathi Amma
RelativesShobana (niece)
Ambika Sukumaran
Vineeth (nephew)
Sukumari (cousin)
FamilyLalitha (sister)
Ragini (sister)
Chandra Kumar (brother)

Early life


Padmini was born and raised in Trivandrum (present-day Thiruvananthapuram), in what was then the princely state of Travancore (now the Indian state of Kerala) to a Malayali family. She was the second daughter of Sree Thankappan Pillai and Saraswathi Amma.[1]



At the age of 16, Padmini was cast as the dancer in the Hindi film Kalpana (1948), launching her career.[5] She acted in films consecutively for nearly 30 years in the first lease of her career.[6] Padmini starred with several of the most well-known actors in Indian film, including Sivaji Ganesan, M. G. Ramachandran, N. T. Rama Rao, Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, Sathyan, Prem Nazir, Rajkumar, Gemini Ganesan and S. S. Rajendran. Ezhai Padum Padu, released in 1950, was her first film in Tamil. V A Gopalakrishnan taught the Padmini sisters Tamil since their mother-tongue was Malayalam. He was associated with Pakshi Raja studios.[1] Padmini Ramachandran's association with Sivaji Ganesan started with the film Panam in 1952.[5] Some of her notable Tamil films include Sampoorna Ramayanam (1958 film) (1958), Thanga Padhumai, Anbu (1953), Kaattu Roja, Thillana Mohanambal (1968), Vietnam Veedu, Edhir Paradhathu, Sri Valli (1961). Other projects include Mangayar Thilakam and Poove Poochudava (1985), Thaikku Oru Thalattu (1986), Lakshmi Vandhachu (1986) and Aayiram Kannudayaal (1986). Some of her Malayalam films include Prasanna, Snehaseema, Vivaahitha, Adhyaapika, Kumara Sambhavam (a 1969 Tamil/Malayalam bilingual), Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu (1984). Whereas Vasthuhara and Dolar marked the latter's last few films in her acting career and in Malayalam too after which, she immediately retired as an actress and hasn't appeared in any movies since.[4]

Padmini (Left) with Vyjayanthimalain the film Vanji Kottai Valipan

In two of her Bollywood films— Mera Naam Joker (1970), also Rishi Kapoor's debut film and Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai (1960), she was paired with Raj Kapoor. She did another film with Raj Kapoor – Aashiq (1962). Her other Bollywood films include Amardeep (1958), Payal (1957), Afsana (1966), Vaasna (1968), Chanda Aur Bijli (1969) and Babubhai Mistry's Mahabharat (1965).[1] Her most famous was Thillana Mohanambal- a Tamil film where she plays a dancer competing against a musician to see, whose skills are better.[4] She also acted in a 1957 Indian-Soviet film Journey Beyond Three Seas (Hindi version: Pardesi) based on the travelogues of Russian traveler Afanasy Nikitin, called A Journey Beyond the Three Seas.

Personal life


In 1961, Padmini married Ramachandran, a US - based physician.[4][1] She immediately retired from films, joined her husband in the United States, and focused on family life.[4] The couple had one son, born in 1963, who now lives in Hillsdale, New Jersey and works for Warner Brothers.[7][5] Sixteen years after her wedding, in 1977, Padmini opened a classical dance school in New Jersey, named the Padmini School of Fine Arts.[5] Today, her school is considered one of the largest Indian classical dance institutions in America.[citation needed]. Actress Sukumari was the maternal first cousin of Padmini and her sisters (the Travancore sisters). Shobana, the famous dancer, is the niece of Padmini. Malayalam actress Ambika Sukumaran is her relative. Actors Vineeth and Krishna are among her relatives. Padmini died of a heart attack at the Chennai Apollo Hospital on 24 September 2006, aged 76. She was hospitalized on the previous day when she suffered a fatal heart attack during a meeting with the then Tamil Nadu CM M. Karunanidhi. Padmini was well known for her professional rivalry with actress Vyjayanthimala, the successful dancer-actress.[8] They performed a dance number in the Tamil film Vanjikottai Valiban; the well-known song was "Kannum Kannum Kalanthu", which was sung by P. Leela and Jikki. In the song, they were pitted against each other. Due to their professional rivalry, the song has a cult following since the film was released.[8]

Padmini (Right) in 2005






  • Lux
  • Filmfare Magazines
  • Star & Style
  • Remy Talcum Powder

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Front Page : Queen of Tamil cinema no more". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 26 September 2006. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  2. ^ Padmini Ramachandran – Indian Actress and Dancer – Obituary
  3. ^ "Actress Padmini dead". Archived from the original on 6 July 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Friday Review Chennai : Beauty, charm, charisma". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 29 September 2006. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d "Entertainment / Interview : The tillana glitter is intact". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 24 September 2004. Archived from the original on 30 November 2004. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  6. ^ "Beauty, charm, charisma". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 29 September 2006. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008.
  7. ^ Padmini to relocate
  8. ^ a b Randor Guy (26 March 2011). "Vanjikottai Vaaliban 1958". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  9. ^ Sulochana Pattabhiraman (4 February 2001). "A role model". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2011.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  10. ^ "Miscellaneous / This Day That Age: dated March 17, 2010: Afro-Asian film festival". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 17 March 2010. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.